January 28, 2014 / 2:15 PM / 4 years ago

US STOCKS-Wall St set for modest rebound; mood cautious on Fed, Apple

* U.S. durable goods orders unexpectedly plunge in December

* Apple shares to open lower after muted iPhone sales, outlook

* Federal Reserve to begin two-day policy meeting

* Futures: Dow up 59 pts, S&P up 3.4 pts, Nasdaq down 21.75 pts

By Angela Moon

NEW YORK, Jan 28 (Reuters) - Wall Street was set for a modest rebound on Tuesday after a three-session decline on the S&P 500, but market sentiment was weighed down by an unexpected drop in durable good orders in December and disappointing iPhone sales at tech giant Apple.

* Investors were cautious as the Fed was set to begin its two-day policy meeting. Concerns have been growing about more withdrawal of U.S. monetary stimulus and slowing Chinese growth, which amplified country-specific political turmoil from Turkey to Thailand.

* S&P 500 index futures trimmed gains following data that showed durable goods orders unexpectedly plunged in December, falling 4.3 percent compared to consensus of 1.8 percent increase.

* Technology stocks were set for a lower open following quarterly results from Apple Inc. The stock was set to open 7 percent lower after iPhone sales in the holiday shopping season missed lofty expectations and the company forecast weak revenue for the current quarter.

* At least 12 brokerages lowered their price targets on Apple’s shares, reflecting concerns that it was becoming harder to sell high-end phones as markets become saturated. The stock had gained a quarter of its value in the last six months.

* In other earnings, Pfizer Inc reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter results, helped by sales of new treatments for cancer, nerve pain and arthritis, sending shares 3 percent higher in premarket trading.

* Hedge fund Casablanca Capital LP took a 5.2 percent stake in Cliffs Natural Resources Inc and urged the iron ore producer to spin off international assets and double its annual dividend. The stock rose 11 percent premarket.

* The S&P/Case-Shiller home price index for November will be released at 9:00 a.m. ET and the Conference Board’s consumer confidence index for January is due at 10:00 a.m. ET.

* Investors were also focused on whether the central bank of Turkey would bow to market pressure and hike interest rates at an emergency policy meeting to defend its battered lira. India surprised markets earlier by doing just that.

* Despite reluctance to unsettle Turkish voters ahead of elections this year, a new Reuters poll showed analysts now expect the central bank to lift rates by 225 basis points.

* S&P 500 e-mini futures rose 3.4 points and were slightly above fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures rose 59 points and Nasdaq 100 futures lost 21.75 points.

* Monday’s decline on Wall Street, which picked up late in the session after the S&P 500 briefly traded in positive territory, followed a steep selloff late last week tied to emerging market concerns. The slide gave the S&P 500 its worst weekly percentage loss since June 2012.

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